Monday, October 01, 2007

Day 1 - Cebu to Tagbilaran City (September 24)

The first day of our trip was pretty uneventful since we spent it traveling. After an hour flight to Cebu from Manila, we had our lunch at the Pier One ferry terminal. 2pm we boarded the Ocean Jet ferry bound for Tagbilaran City, the capital of Bohol. The ride lasted for 2 hours in air conditioned comfort. Some choppy waters made the boat shudder a few times interrupting my desperate need to take a nap. Not that you can really sleep because they were showing the Lord of the Rings movie with the volume blasting out loud. Plus the seats had this stale odor (amoy umok) which made my stomach churn so I just listened to my mp3 player to relieve my boredom.

We reached Tagbilaran City at 4 pm, our van was waiting to hie us off to our hotel, the MetroCentre. An inconspicuous business hotel located right in the bustling city which has a population of roughly 1.3 million inhabitants. We unpacked then explored the area, a street crowded with tricycles, pedestrians, cars and whathaveyous. You had pharmacies, schools, gasoline stations, all sorts of shops selling different items all located on that very busy street. We entered the BQ mall, had an early dinner at Pizza Hut then bought our supply of mineral water bottles at the supermarket. Then we needed to check our emails to confirm our hotel booking at Cebu City. Fortunately on the 5th floor of the mall, there was an Internet cafe. It had this innovative device near the monitor (it resembles a small vending machine) wherein you simply slot in 5 peso coins and voila you were connected online. 5 pesos will give you 20 minutes online. It was the first time I saw a coin operated Internet cafe so I was impressed that a little town in Bohol would have such a facility. Then we were back at our tiny but cosy room to retire for the day so that we could be up early for our city tour, the next day.

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